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Oh No!  What's A Birth Plan?

So you've never heard of the term, Birth Plan?  Don't fret because you're not alone!

We're here to tell you the low down on Birth Plans and answer all of your questions:  Do I need one?  Should I have one? What do I include?  Does the medical staff read them?

Birth Plans, or birth preferences, communicate your choices and desires in writing for your birth to the hospital staff.  There are many websites and books which list all of the items that could possibly be included so don't you worry. 

Why do I need one?  Birth Plans are helpful to you and your partner so that you can decide what your birth options are in advance and start the dialog before the contractions begin.

A Birth Plan is not required, but we know that having a Birth Plan instructs nurses and doctors ahead of time so we can concentrate on other things... like pushing, breathing...(you still with us?)

Once you are familiar with your options, list only those few preferences which are most important to you. (If you want an unmedicated birth without medical intervention, just say that!)

Do your homework. Don't include any procedures that are prohibited or irrelevant at your birth place. For instance, no need to ask for a water birth tub if there isn't one in your facility!

Personalize it!  Add a baby picture of yourself or, if you already have a child, your child's picture. If you have a sense of humor, let the Birth Plan reflect that (humor always helps). If you 've had a previous hospital experience that was particularly good -- or bad -- mention that too.

If there are items (such as eating and drinking during labor) which your doctor must approve, be sure to discuss this ahead of time and ask your doctor to put a note in your chart so he or she doesn't need to be asked by a nurse to confirm his or her approval when the time comes.

Your best bet is to print a few extra copies of the Birth Plan so that you, your partner and your Doula can each carry a copy -- you never know where you'll be when labor begins.

If you want to be sure the nurses will read the Birth Plan, attach it to a food basket where they'll be sure to find it!

Tracy Hartley of provided us with this Belly Scoop - check out her website for more information on Birth Plans and birthing options.

Tracy loves being a Belly Scooper and is a member of DASC (Doula Association of Southern California) and has participated in more than 100 births.






  My Mom Had A Birth Plan
 I'm a B*E*S*T Doulas Baby




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